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Associate Editor

Mike's Blog

By Michael Cornnell

About Michael

Michael Cornnell is Associate Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.

 

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
So You've Got a Recall. What Now?
Jul 25, 2014

It wasn't very long ago, working as a promotional products end-user client that I thought of product safety as pretty...



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
Maintaining Profitability—Part 1
Jul 24, 2014

The news of a well-known supplier with a long history closing their doors stunned the industry recently. This isn’t the...



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
What's in Your T-shirt Drawer?
Jul 22, 2014

The imprinted T-shirts that you keep and wear can tell a lot about your life, your interests and your priorities....



Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
What? What? What? (Ask 'What?' Three Times) Part 3 of 'Get Curious About Your Business'
Jul 17, 2014

Most of us never plan. We don’t plan to fail. We don’t plan to succeed either. The purpose of this...



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
While You Were Typing
Jul 15, 2014

I cannot believe you are still using your fingers to type on your phone!...



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Group Text
Jul 14, 2014

Group texts fall into the same category as "reply to all" in an email. They have their place, but should...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
Are You Suffering from Calculator-itis?
Jul 7, 2014

Are you suffering from calculator-itis? Calculator-itis is a common symptom among salespeople. Most of us suffer from this more than...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
Source Your Inner Iron Man
Jun 11, 2014

Be a hero. Look for opportunities to swoop in and save the day. Source your inner Thor or Wonder Woman....



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Presentation Keys are Essential to Your Ultimate Success
May 29, 2014

As a speaker, it is imperative to follow a certain set of standards to stay on top of my game....



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...



Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
The Anatomy of Emotional Marketing
Apr 11, 2014

You've probably heard the old adage: "It's the thought that counts." This could not be any truer, especially in business. When...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



3 Ways to be Awesome at Decorating

 

Well hello everybody!

I just finished an article for our sister magazine Print + Promo about "consultative selling," a sales philosophy centered around solving clients' core marketing problems rather than just selling product. It's a neat idea I think, and a supposedly helpful tactic in getting your business to compete along lines other than price (helpful if you business is threatened by web stores/suppliers selling direct, since price advantage is more or less their only angle).

There are a lot of facets to the idea of consultative selling, and one I unfortunately didn't get to touch on in my article is the role artwork can play. Larry Mays, CAS, president of Boardwalk Marketing, an apparel contract decorating company located in Erie, Pa., which specializes in special effect screenprinting on apparel, was kind enough to talk to me about this role. He recently taught a class at PPAI Vegas called "How to Become A Consultative Art Sales Person," and had quite a bit of great info to share. I've trimmed down our conversation into my favorite parts, a short list on "3 Ways to be Awesome at Decorating."

1. Show Your Skills
"I believe the key is for sales people to be able to sit down with a brilliantly produced art portfolio and help a client conceive an art idea that will result in a great looking piece of apparel," said Mays. "The key is great art to show the client and a full understanding of the use of color, how an idea might work artistically and how to accomplish a sales or marketing goal through the use of a piece of decorated apparel," he said.

"How much of this consultative approach is needed if all your client wants is their logo on the left chest of their T-shirt? Obviously, not much," he said. "But if that is all your client wants, then don't be surprised when your client demands that you provide the lowest possible price for their shirts, or eliminates you altogether and buys their apparel online. It is the sales reps' job to show a client what is possible and entice the client to purchase something better," he explained. "Decorated apparel is not the same as any other promotional product. The potential for advertising impact is immense—but only if we do the job properly."  

2. Leave the Art for the Artists
"Everyone cannot be a 'genuine artist' capable of producing dynamic art for premium quality decorated apparel," said Mays. "It is no different than stating that everyone cannot be a singer or professional golfer or brain surgeon. To be truly a great 'artist' being an 'artist' is something that is 'who you are—not what you do for a living,'" he said.

"Sales reps and distributors should spend their time selling and nurturing and developing valuable and lasting client relationships. Art is something to be produced by professional artists," explained Mays.  

"Assume you have a client who is hosting a sales conference for their 300 sales reps. The theme is a 'South Seas Island Adventure.' They want a T-shirt that looks like Margaritaville with a parrot and a tiki bar and a margarita and messages on the sand, etc. They want bright, bold colors and they want attendees to wear that shirt 50 times. That can only be done by a creative artist."

3. Study Relevant Art as Much as Possible
"Distributors should devour art wherever they go, with the specific goal of not of becoming an 'artist,' but instead with the goal of becoming a 'consultative sales rep,'" said Mays. "I tell seminar attendees they should spend as much time as they can going to every retail store in malls that sell apparel that features art. Retail trends drive consumer interest," he explained. "I would also suggest looking in gift shops when on vacation-like Disney World or a beach resort. The more art that goes into your head the more likely you are, as a sales rep, to offer a good idea to a client. And then, provide clear instructions to the artist you work with to produce exactly what the client wants for their project," he said.

That's it for this week guys! Thanks for reading, and see you all next week!

Like my blog? Why not follow PM on Twitter or Facebook (or just me on RSS or LinkedIn) so you never miss a post? Thanks!

MONDAY MIKE FACT: Last week a reader asked to see a picture of me with my long, hippie-dippie hair. Far be it from me to disappoint, so here you go!


(Our office dress code is very strict on the "everyone has to wear a cape" point.)

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